How to Wear a French Cuff

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For decades, the French cuff has added an extra dose of refined, classic style to men’s formal wear and business attire. Held together with cuff links, this type of dress shirt conjures up images of black-tie events, weddings, and some of the most fashionable characters of our time, from designer Karl Lagerfeld to James Bond. A French cuff can take a shirt from dressy to formal in an instant, and has long been the choice for ceremonies and special events. Below are some tips to help you wear these cuffs in style.

Things You'll Need

  • -Dress shirt with French cuffs
  • -Pair of cuff links
  1. Put on the shirt, button down the middle, and make sure the cuffs are fully unfolded. You should notice that the sleeves extend past your hands. Fold the overhanging flap of one sleeve over the hand and back on itself, creating a cuff. Repeat this with the other sleeve.
  1. Locate and align the two buttonholes on each side of the cuff. On each sleeve, place a cuff link through this hole to fasten the cuff together.
  1. When putting on your jacket, make sure the cuff remains extended and visible. As long as the shirt and jacket are the right size and fit well, this should happen naturally.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a different style to accentuate your French cuffs, try wearing double-sided cuff links. One way to put on this type of cuff link is by making the cuff and fastening the link before putting your hand through. A good rule of thumb when sporting French cuffs is to choose cuff links that complement, but don't necessarily match, the colors of the tie and dress shirt you're wearing.
  • Avoid wearing French cuffs open and link-less, especially at a formal event. They were designed to be fastened with cuff links, so removing them can give the shirt an odd, unfinished look.

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